Top tips for Christmas Shopping for Grandchildren
27th November 2017
This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.
One of the great joys of being a grandparent is spending time with grandchildren and watching them learn and grow.
Grandparents love to give gifts to their grandchildren and with Christmas just around the corner many will be thinking about what to buy.
Sometimes for older people with mobility problems and who need aids such as an easy access bath at home, it can be difficult to get out and go Christmas shopping. Nobody with limited mobility wants to spend hours perusing the shelves without knowing what the child wants.
To avoid any difficulties and to make sure that every gift is well received, here are some tips to help grandparents shopping for their grandchildren.
Advice for granparents
Talk to parents
Before spending money on your grandchildren it is always best to talk to their parents to see what they think is a good gift.
Some children may want a toy tractor or playhouse, while others might want something like a book or a puzzle.
By speaking to the child’s parents first it is also a good way to show them that you are supportive of their parenting choices.
Use live chat to get ideas
Prezzybox, the hugely popular online gift retailer, recommends using the online live chat that many websites have to get ideas.
The retailer adds, “Grandchildren can be a mystery to their grandparents, so what do you buy them for Christmas? Most sites now have the use of a live chat, so you can get instant ideas from representatives of the brand themselves, with the knowledge of their age and interests our elves at Prezzybox.com will help you select the perfect gifts.”
Make sure your gift is age appropriate
It may have been years since older people would have live with children and therefore will not be up-to-date with the latest toys or trends.
This is why it is important to take time to research the gift and to check that it is safe and appropriate for your grandchild’s age.
Now toys are generally labelled with recommended age ranges on their packaging, but it is also worth checking reviews on the toy or gift to see what experience other people have had.
It is also important for grandparents buying Christmas presents to make sure it fits in with the parents’ ethos and that it aligns with the child’s interest too.
Purchase gift vouchers for toy stores
Buying for grandchildren can be very difficult, but Sarah from the award-winning family lifestyle blog Boo Roo and Tiger Too says buying vouchers for toy shops is a great gift idea.
She says, “My top tip for grandparents would be to purchase gift vouchers for toy stores if they are unsure what to buy for their grandchildren.”
The other great thing about vouchers is the fact that grandparents who have mobility problems can order vouchers online and don’t have to travel to the shops.
Children’s playhouses are a great gift for grandparents to buy and they come in all shapes and sizes. Some are modelled on theatres, whilst others are modelled on castles.
Cuckooland, the luxury lifestyle emporium, recommends buying a playhouse that can be used indoors and outdoors.
Alex Ledsham, director at Cuckooland, says, “Here at Cuckooland, we generally experience a significant increase in sales of our playhouses throughout November and December, as customers want to make sure they are delivered and installed prior to Christmas.
Our best-selling playhouses at this time of year are those that can be used inside and outside, such as those by Win Green, which come in a selection of fun, fabric designs that children will love.
“We believe playhouses are particularly popular as a gift from grandparents, because they offer so much opportunity for interaction, exercise and imaginative play - qualities generally valued by the older, less technological generation. They are also a very exciting gift for a child to receive, and we know that grandparents love to spoil their grandchildren - although, we would always advise checking you aren't upstaging parents first!”
Some playhouses that Cuckooland recommend can be seen below:
- Theatre play house with matching quilt – This playhouse by Win Green allows children to get dressed-up and put on a show for their parents and grandparents.
- Fairy cottage playhouse – This playhouse is for small children and can be used indoors or outdoors. It is also easy to assemble and is for pure magic for a little princess.
- Pirate Shack – This new playhouse has an embroidered parrot and treasure chest on it. The shack is the perfect bedroom accessory and can also help with storage for all that treasure!
A great way to make memories with grandchildren is to do activities together and there are lots of different experiences that they will enjoy.
Liam Howard-Jones, Head of Marketing at Virgin Experience Days, says, “Winning at gifting is becoming increasingly tricky. Friends and relatives don’t want more stuff they already have or wouldn’t choose themselves.
“It’s particularly tricky when buying for younger relatives, it’s impossible to keep up with what they are in to.
“That’s what makes experience gifts great Christmas presents for kids. Learning new skills or braving a challenge is great fun, creating lasting memories and an opportunity for grandparents to spend special time with their grandchildren too.”
Junior Movie Star Car Blast
Virgin Experience Days offers a Junior Movie Star Car Blast experience that allows kids to get behind the wheel of their favourite film car.
Children can grab the controls of a shiny Mazda MX-5 from a certain animated film about talking motors; a noisy yellow Camaro ZL1 or 2016 Mustang GT in full police livery.
Children can take their chosen car around the track for 5 minutes with an expert instructor by their side at all times.
VR Skydive in a Wind Tunnel
Price: £85 (minimum age of 5-years-old)
This experience day combines the latest in virtual reality technology with the incredible freefall sensation of indoor skydiving.
The VR4D skydive from Virgin Experience Days includes a full briefing followed by four practice flights before gearing up in a jumpsuit, parachute, harness and full-face VR skydiving helmet.
With state of the art interactive visuals skydivers will plunge over California and will freefall for 1 minute to the point where you and your virtual friends open their parachutes. There are further VR locations scheduled to be launched throughout 2017.
Chocolate Making Workshop
Price: £63.70 (minimum age of 14)
If your grandchildren love chocolate, then a Chocolate Making Workshop is the perfect Christmas gift.
Grandparents can get involved in this experience and can help their grandchildren cut, dip and decorate their own chocolate creations in London, Brighton or Manchester.
The workshop will teach students a number of crafting skills and will share knowledge that can be used to impress friends and family at home. The classes will also teach budding chocolatiers about the history and process of chocolate.
If your grandchild is a sports fan, a great Christmas gift would be to take them on a stadium tour of their favourite team.
For any die hard Arsenal fans Prezzybox offer stadium tours of the Emirates Stadium and there are also tours available at Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium and Manchester United’s Old Trafford Stadium, which features in our article about the most accessible sports venues in the UK.
Grandchildren can explore areas of the ground that are normally off-limits to the general public such as the player’s tunnel and the home and away dressing rooms. Grand kids can even get photographs next to their favourite players’ shirt in the dressing room!
Go to the theatre
The festive season is now upon us and that means the panto season is in full swing. Going to the theatre during this time of the year is a great idea and seeing a spectacular performance is something the whole family can do together.
There could be some great shows on at your local theatre that you can take the grandchildren to, but some classic shows include Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Aladdin and the Lion King.
Grandparents that have younger grandchildren should consider buying an Italtrike tricycle from Fun4Kids. The tricycles are durable and are really eye-catching.
What’s more they come in a range of colours and each boast a different feature. Some have baskets, whilst others have trailers attached to them.
The trikes are perfect for a toddler learning to ride from the ages of 2-3 years-old. The tricycles range from £80 to £120 and they promote an active lifestyle.